Arts & Letters Required Courses

Course Listing

Core Courses (12 units):

The cornerstone and foundation of the Arts & Letters program involves four core courses. These courses allow students to learn about basic problems in the arts and humanities, while linking them to their personal and professional lives.

These are high quality and intellectually demanding courses originally designed by campus faculty members. All core classes will be offered 100% online.

  • ALS 101 Texts Over Time: Critically review the function of texts within their cultural contexts
  • ALS 102 Individual, Community and Citizenship: Reflect on what makes a responsible citizen
  • ALS 103 Creativity, Meaning and Criticism: Identify the sources of creativity and creative production in the arts and humanities
  • ALS 104 Happiness, Well Being and the Good Life: Evaluate expressions of happiness that are conveyed in various cultural media 

Core courses will be cohort-based for incoming students, and will be offered in pairings of two courses per semester. Students can complete the program in as few as two semesters!

Major Requirements (36 units):

Students will be assessed and advised upon admission to the program to determine the best combination of coursework to ensure satisfaction of the major requirements.

A. Required Upper Division Core Courses (12 units)

  • ALS 101 Texts Over Time (3 units)
  • ALS 102 Individual, Community, and Citizenship (3 units)
  • ALS 103 Creativity, Meaning, and Criticism (3 units)
  • ALS 104 Happiness, Well-Being, and the Good Life (3 units)

Students must select an additional 24 units from the following categories. At least 12 additional units must be upper-division for a total of at least 24 upper-division units.

B. Language – Communication and Expression (6 units)

  • COMS 8 Interpersonal Communication Skills      
  • COMS 100B Critical Analysis of Messages
  • COMS 116 Intercultural Communications
  • ENGL 110B History of the English Language
  • HIST 166 Popular Culture
  • HRS 161 Multicultural America   
  • SPAN 1A/1B Elementary Spanish      

C. Literature – Texts, Ideas and Ideals (6 units)

  • COMS 55 Media Communication and Society        
  • ENGL 140 Studies in British Literature
  • ENGL 180 (A-Z) Multi-Ethnic Literature
  • FREN 110 Survey of French Literature
  • HIST 4 Survey of Early Western Civilization       
  • HIST 50 World Civilizations, Beginnings to 1600 
  • HRS 10 Arts and Ideas of the West: Ancient to Medieval             
  • HRS 70 Arts and Ideas of Asia: Ancient to Medieval       
  • MUSC 10A Survey of Music Literature
  • THEA 2 History of the Theater: Ancient to Renaissance                

D. Arts and Music – The Creative Process (6 Units)

  • ART 7 Introduction to Art and Visual Culture
  • ART 70 Form, Space, Vision
  • ENGL 30A Introduction to Creative Writing
  • GPHD 10 Introduction to Digital Design
  • HRS 180 The Film
  • MUSC 9  Music in World Cultures             
  • MUSC 18 Music Appreciation
  • PHIL 136 Philosophy of Art
  • DNCE 131 Dance Cultures of America
  • THEA 9 Appreciation of Acting
  • THEA 115A Multicultural Puppetry

E. Philosophy – Meaning and Critique (6 units)

  • COMS 153 Mass Media Law and Regulation
  • PHIL 112 History of Ethics
  • PHIL 117 Existentialism
  • PHIL 131 Philosophy of Religion
  • COMS 2  Argumentation
  • HIST 15H Major Problems in U.S. History 
  • JOUR 50 Mass Media and Critical Thinking
  • PHIL 4 Critical Thinking
  • PHIL 60 Deductive Logic I
  • HRS 105 Approaches to the Humanities
  • HRS 140 Exploring World Religions
  • SPAN 156 Hispanic Folklore


Students will work closely with program advisors to ensure satisfactory completion of all university-wide general education and graduation requirements. Where possible, these can be overlapped with courses taken to satisfy B-E above.

Program Advisors:

Michele Foss-Snowden, Communication Studies

Kyle Swan, Philosophy

Victoria Shinbrot, Humanities and Religious Studies

Aaron Cohen, History